Clinton County seeks to limit after-hour dog warden calls

By Gary Huffenberger -

WILMINGTON — County officials are looking to create a new policy regarding how best to handle after-hour calls regarding stray or barking dogs.

The effort is driven by a wish to make the dog warden’s work schedule less all-consuming and over-demanding, according to Clinton County Commissioners President Patrick Haley. In short, the goal is to limit the volume of the dog warden’s after-hours responses.

There was an Aug. 16 meeting involving local police departments and the county dog warden.

Clinton County Administrator Mary Ann Haines Foland said, “The meeting was an effort to seek collaboration and receive input from law enforcement prior to a policy being finalized.”

Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt attended the meeting and wrote a follow-up letter to Dog Warden Rex Doak and to the commissioners office. In it he writes that he cautioned his staff years ago “about over-utilization of the dog warden’s office.”

Reinbolt suggested an overall policy. It reads: “The Clinton County Dog Warden will seize and care for dogs, and take appropriate enforcement action, as required under Ohio Revised Code chapter 955. The dog warden will only respond to calls after-hours if the dog involved poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of persons or property or if the dog has been neglected or abused.”

The Blanchester police chief complimented Doak in his letter.

“I am well aware that you [dog warden] and your deputies have gone above and beyond your statutory mandate for years now, and have great appreciation for that dedication. It has been my observation that, in Clinton County, some law enforcement agencies seem quick to request dog warden response, while others oftentimes seem to expect the dog warden to deal with any situation that involves a dog,” wrote Reinbolt.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger